Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Sunflower and Tulips" (oil on linen; 12" x 12") sold


Floral still life demo I

Floral still life demo II

Floral still life demo III

Floral still life demo IV

Dreama's finished demo painting

Floral still life student show

Last three days I attended Dreama Tolle Perry's workshop in Springfield, VA.  Wow. That sums up my experience.  I signed up for her workshop last May and have been impatiently waiting for it.  I ordered the paints and brushes she recommended, which have since become part of my "arsenal."  I bought her book and poured over it, trying to figure out how she did it.  In the end, I had to wait to see her in action to learn her methods.

I am overwhelmed and overstimulated with the stuff I've learned for the past three days. Here are some of the things I remember.  What attracts me and many others to Dreama's art is, I believe, her joie de vivre, "happy" colors, and bold brushstrokes. Her joy of life that one senses in her website/blog is her true self.  She is not bubbly all the time.  She is actually a quite reserved and sincere person.  It's just that she appreciates life and is eager to share her joy with others.

Her "happy" colors come from her love of colors.  You might think that she slaps random bright colors on canvas.  I was really surprised to see how she started her painting.  In the middle of the four edges of Ampersand Gessoboard (her support of choice; I instead used linen mounted on Baltic birch panel), she made a mark, then without any drawing, she started painting the dark and mid-tone underpainting.

The shockingly dark underpainting gave her painting the foundation, gravitas, so to speak.  In this stage, she used ONLY transparent colors.  No white or opaque colors were allowed.  While the underpainting was still wet (Dreama is an alla-prima painter, who finishes her painting in one session with many breaks), she introduced opaque paints and white.  Form and light were carved out with opaque colors.

The students painted from the same reference photo, I might add fearlessly, following the teacher's step-by-step instructions.  Despite the shock we were in, we did a fabulous job, as you can see in the bottom picture.  Tomorrow I will continue my experience during the workshop with Dreama.

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